In the days leading up to the ball dropping, you can count on being bombarded with that age-old phrase, “New year, new me,” said by people who are ready for these past 365 days to end – people who are ready to wipe the slate clean and start fresh on a blank canvas. And, I’m all for it. Trust me, I’m a fan of resolutions, believing that you can be better than you were in the past and using this calendar symbol of rebirth to begin (or maybe, try) again. But, even if this year wasn’t what you wanted it to be, there’s value in dissatisfaction. There’s value in all the valleys that you were forced to hoist yourself out of, and I think people tend to think so glamorously of this unknown – but surely better – future because, you know, the grass is always greener.
Social media is probably one of the biggest culprits when it comes to casting out the last year as a botched experiment, and all these memes go viral because, at the end of the day, they’re relatable. Of course, there will be valleys, and of course, there will be peaks, but we never pat ourselves on the back and say, “You know what? Goal reached. Let’s enjoy this.” It’s always onto bigger and better things because that’s just how we are. The Internet is so good at highlighting the downsides – after spinning it to make it funny or pairing it with a picture Kermit the Frog – and unfortunately, that’s what we tend to walk away with because that’s what we remember: how it (or we) could have been better. And it’s not just the Internet – our memories do the same thing because that’s how we survive in a world of mistakes and bad decisions. We learn from them. And really, that’s the beauty in this experiment of life. It can always – or at least we have to believe it can always – be better, whether it’s by tweaking one little thing here and there or, as we often do, by attempting to metaphorically wipe the slate clean.
I guess all I’m trying to say is that life will never be one big mountain where we’re constantly climbing upward, our foot never slipping on an unfounded rock, a branch never breaking when we thought it was grounded, our eyes never looking ahead to the point where we know we need to be (because, you know, then we’ll be happy). Life is an endless terrain of ups, downs, and plateaus. You can pick a direction, but you can only base your decision on where you’ve been and what you can see directly in front of you. So, don’t throw out 2016 as a time when nothing was gained. You took a path. Maybe it led you to a mountain, and maybe it led you to a valley. Maybe you have to move forward, and maybe you have to turn right around and move a few steps back. But, now you know where not to go, and you’re a better you than you were before it. And, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for reaching a peak either because I think if you really tried, you could look back on 2016 and say, “I think I’m doing just fine.”
P.S. Sorry for the lack of consistency on these things. Weekly was a bit too much for me to uphold, and when you miss one, the whole thing kind of falls apart. This time, I'm pacing myself for once a month. That way, these will be a little more substantial, and I can have some time to chew on my thoughts. Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed the blog up to this point, and I hope you continue to enjoy it. As always, I'd love to start a conversation, so ask questions, give me your thoughts. I'd love to talk to you.